Cebu News

Council backs bill to include disaster victims in 4Ps

Mary Ruth R. Malinao - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu City Council has expressed its full support to Senate Bill No. 302 or “4Ps for Disaster Victims Act.”

The proposed measure amending Republic Act No. 11310 or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Act by including victims of natural or man-made disasters as eligible beneficiaries was introduced by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.

The council approved a resolution sponsored by Councilor Pancrasio Esparis supporting the proposed bill.

Section 6 of 11310 states that “farmers, fisherfolks, homeless families, indigenous peoples, those in the informal settler sector and those in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas including those in areas without electricity shall be automatically included in the standardized targeting system to be conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Provided, that to be eligible for the cash grants, households or families must meet the following criteria: (a) Classified as poor and near-poor based on the Standardized Targeting System and the poverty threshold issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) at the time of selection;

(b) Have members who are aged zero (0) to eighteen (18) years old or have members who are pregnant at the time of registration; and

(c) Willing to comply with the conditions specified by this Act.

Esparis said that the law on 4Ps does not include as beneficiaries victims of natural or man-made disasters.

“Their inclusion into the list of 4Ps beneficiaries, in accordance with the rules

to be set, will at least lessen the agony which disasters bring,” said Esparis.

As provided in the explanatory note of SB 302, Cayetano said that there are also victims of calamities and disasters, both natural and man-made, who totally lost their properties and who should qualify and be immediately accepted to the program.

The senator proposed that victims of natural or man-made disasters who require assistance shall receive a one-time financial assistance that will cover basic expenses such as food, shelter, and clothing, among other necessities.

In addition, if the DSWD assesses that the disaster victim suffered losses because of the disaster, he or she shall be immediately enrolled into the program and receive its benefits for one  year.

Further, if the victim complies with all the eligibility requirements and becomes poor as a result of the disaster, he or she shall receive full benefits for the entire duration of the program.

“4Ps is a step in the right direction for the National Government to help those of our countrymen in need. 4Ps was meant to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty that has long trapped many Filipino families. This measure proposes to strengthen the 4Ps Law to aid our kababayan placed in unfortunate situations without their fault, such as in disasters,” the explanatory note of SB No. 302 states. — FPL (FREEMAN)


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